A month or so ago, my friend and retired Plante Moran partner, Bill Bufe, sent me an e-mail. This happens frequently, as Bill loves to forward jokes, videos and—most recently—puns. (For example, “Einstein developed a theory about space, and it was about time too.”) His e-mails don’t typically lean toward the serious, however, so I was a bit surprised when I clicked on the attachment and saw this.
Now, I don’t know anything about Purplefeather—I’d never heard of the UK content specialists until Bill’s e-mail—but I have to applaud their commercial. It got to me. Maybe it was the music, as a more cynical colleague suggested, but I believe it was the message: “Change your words; change your world.” Changing that sign from “I’m blind, please help,” to “It’s a beautiful day, and I can’t see it,” quite literally changed the context of the way people viewed that blind man and his predicament. It invokes pathos, and it’s effective. It reminded me of just how powerful words can be when they are strategically wielded to achieve a desired result.
What about you? When’s the last time you read or watched something that impressed you with its message? How do you use words in business to achieve a desired result?